In this episode we’ll discuss: The power of sharing you success with your team; marketing your restaurant one campaign at a time; creating brands around unique talents on your team; the significance of having a small-scale mentality; and how effective the google platform can being on organizing and systematizing your restaurant.
Octavio Mantilla was born in Nicaragua and moved to New Orleans as a child. At sixteen, he got his first job in a restaurant and has worked his way through all the managerial levels. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. He helped open Harrah’s Casino & Hotel in New Orleans; then to St. Louis as Harrah’s Director of Food Operations. He also opened numerous fine dining restaurants for Harrah’s nationwide.
Octavio returned to New Orleans to be reunited with his old friend Chef John Besh at The Besh Steakhouse at Harrah’s. Octavio joined John as a partner in The Besh Restaurant Group, combining his vast experience in restaurant operations with a passion for customer service. SSince becoming John’s partner, the Besh Restaurant Group has expanded to include La Provence, Lüke New Orleans, Domenica, Lüke San Antonio, Borgne, Pizza Domenica, Johnny Sanchez Baltimore, Johnny Sanchez New Orleans, Shaya and Willa Jean.
Success or Leadership Quote/Mantra
“You can accomplish most of anything in life, as long as you don’t mind who gets the credit”
What is your “why”?
The sincere desire to serve others.
- Genuine desire to please people and be a good host.
- Good judge of character.
- Desire to share success with everyone who participates in the restaurant.
Industry Challenge or Failure
- Octavio recently changed the accounting software through out all of the Besh Restaurants. He wishes he changed the software at just one restaurant first. The new software isn’t working out nicely and its been a nightmare.
- Test the water before making massive changes. Start small.
- If you’re already working in the industry make hospitality your priority. You never know who you’re going to meet; every encounter with a guest could be a potential investor.
- Look for social cues while interviewing.
- Whats their body language telling you?
- Are they just looking for a job or do they really want to serve people?
- Ask them questions to uncover their personality.
- Make your team members a part of the family and get them involved
- Invest in your people and their vision. Provide them an opportunity to grow with their own restaurant.
- Use google alerts to create pings for new article that can help you.
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Advice on Marketing
- Focus on one campaign at a time.
- Devote time to sit down and plan your future campaigns.
- Create brands around your people and individual talents.
Objective Product/Service Review Suggestion
- Leverage Google- Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Hangouts. Its all FREE!
- Opentable– Join the more than 32,000 restaurants which fill seats and manage reservations with OpenTable.
- Fishbowl– Online marketing software and services for restaurants.Describes products and services, and offers online account creation; company and client information
- Venga– Integrating OpenTable with your POS to drive repeat visits and power the guest experience. Personalize service, target marketing, and reveal trends.
Swipely– Everything you need for business growth in one place, that’s Swipely. See how we’re helping restaurants optimize operations and grow sales.
Best Business Advice
- Don’t be afraid to take a risk.